WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jessica Turner, executive director of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), hailed this week’s session between ORR members and recreation partners and senior leadership from the United States Forest Service (USFS) as “a great step in an on-going dialogue about the implementation of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), a critical piece of legislation passed in 2020, which will have significant impacts on our outdoor infrastructure and recreation opportunities across the country.”
ORR hosted USFS leadership and over 80 stakeholders from across the outdoor recreation community for the 2-hour discussion. ORR presented several ways that the entire recreation infrastructure and maintenance backlog on our public lands and waters can be mitigated over the next 4 years if we work together on a national recreation strategy. Specific topics included:
- Project selection process and prioritization
- How projects can assist economic development and job creation
- Celebrating project success with an eye towards future funding
- Ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion in project selection criteria and in process conversations going forward
Forest Service leadership in turn provided an overview of their work on Fiscal Year 2021 deferred maintenance projects and their plans for public dialogue and transparency going forward as GAOA is implemented.
ORR members were instrumental in getting National Forests included in GAOA; a priority since many forms of recreation happen on USFS-managed lands and waters.
“We very much appreciate all the work of the USFS and their commitment to an ongoing dialogue and collaboration around GAOA implementation. We look forward to working together over the coming months and years,” Turner concluded.